Monday, January 9, 2012

Marketing YOU and YOUR BOOK ~ Part I

Hi everyone,

Okay, now it’s time to get serious about MARKETING!! In publishing, this means marketing yourself as much as your work. So, how do you market yourself? Does this entail wearing a big neon sign on your person or taking out a full-page ad in the Sunday paper? What works and what won’t? What exactly does that mean?!?

For some authors, this is a very challenging and at times intimidating task and something I continually try and offer some solutions to the readers.  Today, I think I will focus on marketing your most important asset – YOU!! On Thursday, I will focus more on marketing your work so be sure to come back and read that post as well.

Marketing yourself isn’t easy but it is necessary and probably one of the most important tasks you will undertake in the world of publishing. YOU are the product and the brand all in one. This is different than selling Nike running shoes – where the shoes are the product. I don’t think the designers of these wonderful shoes ever looked at a finished product that didn’t quite make the cut and feel like a part of their soul had died with the design. Writing is different in that it is personal and emotional. So, your book, although a product like running shoes, is also much, much more.

Do you want to be known as an author that is mysterious, forthright, funny, or aloof?  These are some questions you may want to explore before you begin to “put yourself out there”. For those of you that are already feeling a little queasy and your are thinking, “I don’t want to push myself on other people and have to do a bunch of empty socializing or make superficial small talk.” I understand but effective marketing creates a pull for more from you and people begin to seek out you and your product (book).
Here is an eight-step plan to guide you:

  1. Define your mission and the benefits you offer your readers.
  2. Set your marketing objective: What exactly do you want to achieve? Make it measurable and realistic and built in timelines and deadlines.
  3. Design performance measures: what will be observable, objective indicators that show that you are accomplishing or have accomplished your goal?
  4. Gather, analyze and interpret information about your situation. For example, what are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? Perform this assessment and then act on the areas that need to be adjusted to improve your success.
  5. Identify your target market and speak to them!
  6. Develop your marketing strategy and activities aimed at your target market (attend conferences, continuing education events, write articles for them or professional publications that your target market would subscribe to).
  7. Define implementation strategies: What will you do, when will you do it and what resources will you need or obstacles might you have to overcome?
  8. Periodically evaluate marketing efforts and modify them if needed to determine what is working or what you may need to do differently. Do you need to do more or can you scale back your efforts?

Make sure you come back on Thursday for more tips and tricks and you can also view some of the previous marketing discussions we've had on Mystery Writers Unite by clicking the following link: Marketing


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